What Do You Worry About?

Like most Mothers of children with special needs, I worry about doing all that I can to foster the development of my beautiful 5-year-old boys with Down syndrome. For me, worry leads to action and action to change. 

But lately, there’s been talk in the blogosphere about the usefulness of such worrying. In one post, it was suggested that we contemplate our worries in the following context:

1. In 10 years, will the thing I worry about today still matter to me?

2. In 100 years, will the thing Iworry about today matter to anyone?

My answer to both of these questions is a resounding HECK YES! 

In 10 years, my beautiful boys will be 15-years-old and we will, hopefully, be contemplating appropriate college programs. To get there, I know that my children must successfully master Kindergarten first! Skills learned in Kindergarten are building the foundation for their entire education. Their ability to identify letters and sounds leads to reading and writing which has a profound affect on their ability to gain knowledge and, ultimately, live independently. In the world of special needs, research shows that early intervention results in the best outcomes. If I do not attend to this now, 10 years from now may be too late! So YES, in 1o years, if I’ve done my “job” as the Mother of 2 children with Down sydnrome, hopefully, My Boys will be on their way to college. 

In 100 years, my efforts NOW, along with the good efforts put forth by my fellow mothers of children with special needs, will change the world such that all children with special needs will automatically be included in their schools, communities and work places… not excluded or segregated. As I and my fellow parents of children with special needs continue to advocate one child at a time, in 100 years, the world will accept our children with special needs as viable members of the world community. Their contributions will be valued and their ABILITIES will be recognized. 

100 years ago, my children with Down syndrome would have been institutionalized at birth. 50 years ago, they would not have been expected to live past 9! At 5 years of age, MY beautiful boys would be closing in on the END of their lives already. Without the worries and resulting efforts of the mothers that went before me, I would be choosing coffins, not colleges. 

So, you existentialists ask if what I’m doing today is important? Are the worries that drive my actions going to matter in 10 or 100 years? YOU BET THEY ARE! And I thank God for all the mothers 100 years ago, who advocated on behalf of their children so that mine — 100 years later — have the opportunities they do today. And I pledge to continue the advocacy so that all mothers with children with Down syndrome 100 years from now won’t have to! THAT is my goal!

I’m the Mom of 2 children with Down syndrome. I don’t have time to worry about the little things. I’m working hard every day to raise my children to be responsible and contributing members of our society. I do this for My Boys… And for every person born with Down syndrome who comes after us. 

What are you worried about? And will it matter in 10 and 100 years?

2 Responses to What Do You Worry About?